Once the girl was gone, Charlotte, checked her reflection to ensure that she was presentable and nothing about her attire would showcase her hidden surprises. Once she was satisfied, she tested the door and found, not quite to her surprise, that the girl had left it unlocked. Charlotte smiled but was still very careful to slip out as silently as possible. She knew this was risky enough for herself but it would be more for the girl if her small act of treachery were discovered.
It truly was like being transported back to the days of yesteryear being in this forsaken house. There was so much about the modern world that they had yet to discover and the most important and foolish mistake they’d made so far was with the staff, particularly the young ones like that girl. It was clear that she’d been sought out and beaten regularly since she got here. No wonder, either. The girl, beneath her collection of bruises and cuts, was actually quite pretty. The kind of girl that might remind one of a simple young woman from the fields, wind in her hair and sun on her cheeks and all that romantic nonsense. Charlotte knew what it meant to those who still lived in the past. To the men it would spell a kind of hope for someone they could collect like she were just a toy. To the women, she was a constant reminder of better days constantly falling behind them. She knew that Vivian would be the one this girl would fear more for the torment that she might bring into her life. Truly, however, the master of the house would be the one to make her life miserable beyond compare for much longer. For Vivian, it would be a matter of eliminating a rival. Making sure that her place, which had come into question in recent months, would be secure enough to ensure that they couldn’t take away her fortune. Kent would see to it that his money would not go to a lowly woman that he’d simply taken and made a wife. He would ensure the money could go to an heir, however. A woman that might produce a son and a lasting bloodline for this vile name of his. Then his woman would have purchase in his life, even if it was only to ensure that he would have something to pass on. Seeing as Vivian was suddenly out of commission and unable to perform, a new bride would definitely be on his mind. Something both of them were likely very anxious about.
While Charlotte well understood such things, she also knew better than to mishandle the staff of a grand house such as this. For one thing, it was gauche and ended up with unpleasantries finding their way into the food. It was a source of amusement when she’d done her own internment in the estate house she’d been prisoner in. Their so-called father, beating and hollering at everyone who dared to make him even the slightest bit angry, acting every bit the embarrassment that he was. Dreaded old fool never seemed to notice that his soup was just the slightest bit more yellow than the others. Occasionally he found he was flush with fever and vomiting when everyone else in the house never seemed to catch his illness. Their father figure was a fool and arrogant as any bloated aristocrat she’d ever met. And Master Kent was not even his equal so there were, no doubt, a few who might yet be rattling around this house, looking for someone to provide them with some guidance. And the girl who had left the door open for her seemed like a rather prime place to start. Why, was not her small act of defiance another version of an invitation? A small plea for someone more seasoned to step into her life and show her that the monster was not so large after all? Oh what a delicious turn of events. Charlotte may well die here but even if she did, that didn’t mean that her legacy might not yet continue.
As she made her way into the hall, she could see that she had been brought into the house but not necessarily welcomed. She was, after all, placed in the wing that was clearly more used by the staff than anything. This was not the staff quarters, mind. No, they were likely downstairs where Master Kent likely spent his evening being horrible or predatory. At any rate, she would do best to avoid that area for now but it would be worth it to know where it was. She did, after all, have a vested interest in seeing what manner of potential could be growing in there. She need not even see it to know that discord was easily roused here. Given what that girl looked like, she could only imagine the squalor that they lived in. If they had proper beds, she would be surprised. It was something that her own father also found out the hard way when it came to controlling his daughters and his one, very stubborn son. Allies are entirely too easy to make when one can see something of themselves in the person who wishes to befriend them. Back in the day, Charlotte learned very quickly that extra food here or an easily missed treasure there could buy her a world of freedom and escape routes that just seemed to open up before her. And her own father had been snobbish enough to actually have staff quarters that looked like real rooms. She couldn’t imagine such a thing in this house. What a fertile ground for mischief. Between Vivian and her shameful treatment of the people she felt were beneath her and the monster she married, it would take very little to get the fires of revolt started. That said, she need not light the kindling before she’d at least tried to get herself out of the line of fire. That was a last resort, if needed. So far, she’d been able to avoid such things and she had no intention on admitting defeat yet. After all, it wasn’t as though options weren’t in the offering and once she knew who truly ran the house, she would find out how to actually kill its little black heart.
That, however, was getting far too ahead of herself. Charlotte took stock of her current surroundings first. Though not staff quarters, she wouldn’t be surprised if she found that they may have spent time here. Perhaps a good escape for when the Master was in a particularly bad mood? It was dusty here and there were items that were out of fashion. While on the whole, this house was a monument to the death of anything fashionable, including the attitudes of its inhabitants, they did manage to keep up with some elements of the times. That said, much like everyone else who had fostered that kind of love for the past and all its dreariness, they couldn’t be forced to ever let go of anything that they had once cherished, out of date or not. That’s most assuredly where she found herself. It seemed fitting, when she thought about it. Charlotte had once been Reginald Kent’s conquest. He had married another and yet here he was still looking for more. Didn’t it make sense to put her in the wing of forgotten items that he once desperately needed to have dominion over?
It was not a small wing for certain and it surprised her very little. The doors, most of them, were locked. There were treasures behind them, no doubt. Things that he had coveted or stolen for the sake of having them. She wondered, idly, if Vivian knew anything about all of them. Oh, of course she knew of this wing and what it was for. If she was wise, she would know that this was where she would eventually find herself too. If she was willful, she might find herself blissfully dead before she arrived at this abyss. On the other hand, if she was truly foolish she would believe herself to be immune to this part of the house. That she might yet find a way to be relevant always and therefore make herself permanently better than the forgotten toys the gathered dust here. She wondered with a wicked smile, whether her nemesis was truly that stupid. If she really believed that she might really be better than anything that he wanted before this and cast aside when something better came along. Of course, everything in here was something that was too good for his brute hands. All manner of golden keepsakes and heirlooms that were no doubt hidden in here. All of them locked up so that they might never been seen by unworthy eyes and finally forgotten when it was their time to become worthless junk in his own. If Vivian were smarter, she might have tried to find her way here sooner. There was a wealth of resources to be found here and Charlotte just knew it.
A small, muffled sound of a girl in pain broke the silence of the hall and Charlotte smiled. The locked doors might hold promise but ahead lay an opportunity. It was time for her to create a door in the walls of her prison. She knew that it would promise to be a very gratifying door to carve indeed.